Understanding Basic Terms in Online Marketing Measurement

Online marketing terminology (or jargon) is useful to marketers to communicate and comprehend those qualitative metrics that are essential to their business. A brief thesaurus of their jargon is presented below.

Hit - One of most misleading forms of measurement of a web site is known as a "hit." A hit is basically a request by a server for any element on a web like a graphical image or text block. For example, if a page has 5 images and a text on it, and is requested by the browser, the total "hits" are immediately 6! 

Impression -  Indicates how many times an image/banner is displayed.  Count one impression each time the banner is shown. 

Page View/Click -  A measure of how many times a complete page is displayed. Count one page view each time a page is displayed. 

Cost Per Click (CPC) - As defined by Farris et al. is "the amount spent to get an advertisement clicked" 

Basic online marketing Jargon

CTR (Click Through Rate) -  CTR is the most common way for measuring the success of your digital content marketing efforts. Few years ago the average CTR for banner ads, was ranging between 10-15 %. With the advent of alternative forms of online advertising such as email marketing and more recently Google Adwords, the CTR for banners has declined dramatically and currently it averages to a lower than 0.2. To get an idea of the changing trends in web advertising,  the average e-mail marketing plan averages a response rate close to 5 percent, while the respective Adwords plan ranges between 4-7%.  As a result, the fluctuations in the various rates determine the ad campaign market. 

Conversion Rate The conversion rate is equivalent to a completed action (i.e a sale, or download) taken by user after a click through. However a high CTR does not assure a high conversion rate... 

Cost Per Conversion or Cost per Acquisition Is a key metric that is calculated as: ad campaign cost (CPM or CPC) divided by the number of clicks or impressions * CTR * Conversion rate.

CPM (Cost Per Mille) Cost per thousand impressions. Is commonly used in display advertising and refers to the price an advertiser pays for every 1000 impressions of the ad served.

Inventory refers to the web space a publisher/website owners offers for ads. Ad pricing depends on inventory and traffic of a website.

ROS Run of site, refers to all inventory of a certain website. 

Brand Mentions The organic mentions of a company's brand anywhere online.

Open Rate The percentage of people that opened an email.

Unique Visitors The number of unique browsers requesting pages during a given period. Along with pageviews, unique visitors are two key metrics that measure the popularity and performance of a website.

February 2013,Vangelis Kovaios